I had noticed that recent issues of Individual Investor magazine had been getting thinner and thinner, and that the entire Power Investing section in the back of the magazine had disappeared. II did a pretty good job of covering the online investing sector, and I always flipped through the Power Investing section first.
A shrinking page count has not been uncommon among personal finance magazines of late. As brokerage firms and mutual funds have seen activity and trading on the decline, they've laid off workers and reduced their marketing budgets. The fallout has hit many financial publications hard, and some marginal entries in the field, like Family Money, have already folded.
But I never expected Individual Investor to be among the casualties. After all, with high-powered names like CNBC commentator Maria Bartiromo (wife of II publisher Jonathan Steinberg) on board, the magazine seemed to be firmly entrenched, with a thriving web site and newsletter business, and able to weather the bad times.
Today, Individual Investor Group announced that it was closing shop. The magazine's subscriber list was sold to The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., publishers of Kiplinger's Personal Finance (among other titles) for a total of $6.1 million (including liability for subscriptions paid for by current subscribers). Kiplinger's will likely offer II subscribers a subscription to their own magazine.
Individual Investor slashed its headcount by 90% in the aftermath of the deal, and will now focus on its web sites, II Online and SHORTInterest.com. The company is also continuing to expand its America's Fastest Growing Companies family of stock indexes, and is in the process of creating its first exchange-traded funds based on those indexes.
Hats off to the staff of Individual Investor magazine and best wishes for the future.
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